We knew it was just a matter of time before other credit card companies and banks began formulating their own version of the wildly popular Discover It credit card. Citigroup is now out of the gate with its version. So is the Discover It or Citi Simplicity a better credit card? Keep reading and decide for yourself.
The perks and benefits are many with this revolutionary offer. Consumers are flocking to it for a number of reasons. It really is a step ahead of all other offers – well, with the exception of the new Citi Simplicity credit card. The ability to decide your own due date, a late payment forgiveness option, no APR increase if you do pay late once and, of course, the popular 5% cash back rotating categories are the biggest selling points.
What some may not realize is that this is what happens when a credit card company gives its financial products a facelift. The It card replaces the classic Discover cash back credit card. Like a growing number of credit card offers these days, this one has no annual fee. You’ll also like the idea of a 0% introductory APR on both balance transfers and purchases for a full 14 months. This is perfect for those looking to pay down their debt with no interest rate. Fair warning – if you do stumble during the introductory period, you forfeit the intro APR. Did we mention the 20% cash back on some purchases made at Discover’s online shopping mall? These are impressive products we buy every day, too.
Your 5% cash back categories include:
- January through March: restaurants and movies up to a maximum of $1,500
- April through June: home improvement stores up to a maximum of $1,500
- July through September: gas stations up to a maximum of $1,500
- October through December: holiday shopping up to a maximum of $1,500
You’ll also receive 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases as well as purchases made in the cash back category, but that have already met the $1,500 threshold. You have the option of redeeming your cash back bonuses for gift cards, merchandise or cash. If you opt for the cash, look for a direct deposit straight into your checking account or credits to your Discover balance.
Note that if you have the cash applied to your Discover credit card, it will happen in $50 increments. Another nice benefit is the opportunity to double the value of them when you redeem them for gift cards. Amazon allows you to apply your bonuses to your purchases on that website, as well.
Did you know that when you pay your household utilities, you’ll earn cash back? You’ll also never pay foreign transaction fees. Decided between Discover It or Citi Simplicity yet? Take a look at Citi’s version before you decide:
For a short minute, Discover and its It card offer was the only one that promised not to raise a customer’s APR or a late payment fee if he’s late with a payment. Note that this applies only for first time offenses. And just like It, the Citi Simplicity credit card is offering it now too.
Believe it or not, many consumers say one of the most important aspects of their banking efforts is found with the card company’s customer service reps. As a result of that, Citi responded by guaranteeing U.S. based call centers. It also says your call, even if you’re put on hold, is no more than a few seconds and you speak to a live representative. You’ll have an across the board APR for purchases and transfers.
Citi Private Pass
As a card member, you’ll receive offers for concerns, sporting events and travel. Plus, you’ll earn 10% of your eligible purchases each month in Citi Easy Deals points. They’re easily redeemed for impressive discounts on everything from gift cards to travel. Your rewards points never expire, neither provided you keep your account open.
Receive up to $3,000 in Lost Luggage Coverage for you and your dependents when you charge your entire common carrier fare to your Citi Simplicity Card. This benefit covers permanently lost, stolen or damaged baggage or personal articles checked with a common carrier. That’s a huge burden lifted off the shoulders of many who find themselves stranded with no change of clothes.
We all know what it’s like to lose our airline tickets, or worse, our passports. If that happens to you, Citi replaces them while also getting emergency cash for those unexpected emergencies. Your Citi card pays for covered damages (physical damage and theft) made to a rental vehicle when you use your Citi card to initiate and pay for the entire rental transaction and provided you decline the car rental company’s collision, loss/damage waiver.
Balance transfers are possible with a 3 percent fee, which is reasonable. You also have a 0% intro APR for your purchases and balance transfers for 18 months, much like Discover’s offer. Flight accident and other similar policies are part of the package and it’s complementary. This is a relatively low balance transfer fee you have to pay when transferring your balance from another credit card account to this account.
The 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months gives you the opportunity to pay off your existing credit card debt without interest within 14 months. Fraud liability is guaranteed and won’t cost you a single penny for unauthorized purchases.
No Rewards Program
Despite all of the great benefits this offer has, the fact that it has no rewards program is a deal breaker for some (though it’s not likely this is becoming a trend and it’s possible Citi could reverse that decision). This Citi Simplicity card is a low interest credit card which easily handles the evolving needs of the consumer. It more than makes up for that one shortcoming. If for no other reason, the courtesies of no late payment or over the limit fees makes it a strong contender for Discover’s quickly evolving customer base. No complications, no frustrating and overwhelming rules and the many perks and benefits are all fine reasons for giving this credit card your consideration.
No matter what you ultimately decide with the Discover It or Citi Simplicity, you’ll enjoy either of their smartphone apps. Both include assertive invitations to interact with other customers. Also, both banks offer a host of other financial solutions, from their prepaid products to mobile banking to credit card offers.
In short, both credit cards offer a lot to the consumer who appreciates the idea of saving money, the “human being” factor of always having a live customer rep when you need it and the late payment forgiveness – among others. The whole Discover It or Citi Simplicity question is one only you can decide for yourself. If nothing else, though, it’s great to finally see some strong offers coming down the chute. It’s reassuring, no doubt and could very well mean the tides are beginning to shift.
Now that you know a few of the details associated with these credit card offers, is there one offer between the Discover It or Citi Simplicity you’re most drawn to? Share your thoughts with us. And if you already have one or both of these cards, tell us about your experience with them. Which one do you recommend?
Similar Credit Card Blog Posts
- The New Discover “It” Card – January 9, 2013
- Will Your Citi AAdvantage Program Be Good Tomorrow? – May 28, 2013
- Annual Fees War: Visa Black or AMEX Platinum? – October 11, 2011
- Great News for Discover Users – December 6, 2011
- Shopping for 0% Intro Credit Cards? – January 30, 2013
- Credit Monitoring: Worth it or Ditch it? – June 21, 2012
- Are We Any Wiser When it Comes to Credit Cards? – March 20, 2013